After Luol Deng was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night, NBA executives—at least, the teams contending for the title or playoff spot—salivated at the prospect that the Chicago Bulls may be in a fire sale mode.
According to Sam Amick of USA Today, the Golden State Warriors are interested in fleecing the Bulls given the current state of the franchise which wants to save money and which may want to tank the season.
The Warriors are targeting Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who can back-up both guard positions if he joins Golden State.
The Derrick Rose early season-ending injury might have prompted the Bulls to trade away Deng for Andrew Bynum, who they immediately waived, and future picks from Cleveland.
A move to deal away Hinrich, who is owed a $4M this season, will be another sign that the Chicago front office is serious in breaking up the current core and acquire assets for the future— and just in time when their superstar point guard returns from his second major injury.
Hinrich averages 7.8 points and 4.7 assists in over 30 minutes of action for the Bulls this season.
It is known in the NBA circles that teams could be tanking hard this season because of the deep class in the 2014 NBA Draft, which may potentially include Joel Embiid, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Marcus Smart and Julius Randle.
Unfortunately for Golden State, they don’t own their picks in the next few drafts. Golden State owes owe their 2014 and 2017 first round plus 2016 second round picks to Utah; 2014 second round pick to Minnesota; and 2015 second round pick to Indiana.
This means that the Warriors options are limited— give-up current players with potential ore use their trade exceptions. Via ESPN’s Trade Machine, here’s the probable exchange between Chicago-Golden State:
K. Hinrich ($4M) for N. Nedovic ($1M) + $4M Trade Exception
For the Bulls, Nedovic is a low-risk low-reward player but they can use the Trade Exception in future trade deals before it expires. For the Warriors they virtually give up nothing to get their back-up point guard.